With Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia phone devices it looks like there is a three company race against Apple and Google. Phones and Tablets are the growing faster than any other technology device.
One way to think about Mobile device companies is a three company competition. Here is a post on three company competition and its history.
The “Big Three” no longer have the automobile market to themselves, but almost every market, including the one for cars, is ruled by three dominant firms. That reality does not prevent other firms from being successful. However, all firms, regardless of their market share, must still understand The Rule of Three and how it will affect their strategy and attempt to operate efficiently.
Over the past several years, the world economy, principally in the developed free market economies of Europe and North America, has been characterized by a unique economic phenomena-the combination of mergers and demergers at record levels (demergers are the spin-offs of non-core businesses). As a result, the landscape of just about every major industry has changed in a significant way, moving inexorably toward what we call the “Rule of Three.” The recent economic downturn has slowed but not halted this fundamental evolution, nor has it altered its basic direction.
We note that the Rule of Three is much more than an interesting theoretical construct; it is a powerful empirical reality that must be factored into corporate strategizing. Understanding the likely end-points of market evolution is critical to the ability of executives to develop strategies that will result in success.